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32 Light Desserts That’ll Hit the Spot

Just because you're trying to eat a little healthier doesn't mean you have to skip out on the sweet stuff. These light desserts are creamy, fruity, chocolaty, whipped and spiced just right. Best of all, they won't wreck your diet. So, go ahead, have your cake (or pie, or cookie...) and eat it, too.

Ginger Plum Tart

Sweet cravings, begone: This free-form plum tart is done in only 35 minutes. Plus, it's extra-awesome when served warm. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Healthy Apple Crisp

This easy dish is a tradition in my family. It's as quick as a boxed cake mix but it's a healthier dessert choice. It's ideal in fall when it seems that everyone has a bag or two of fresh apples to give away! —Terri Wetzel, Roseburg, Oregon

Frozen Berry & Yogurt Swirls

I enjoy these frozen yogurt pops because they double as a healthy snack and a cool, creamy sweet treat. —Colleen Ludovice, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

Apple-Spice Angel Food Cake

I dressed up an angel food cake mix with some nuts, spice and applesauce to make an easy and light dessert. I serve it with a dollop of whipped topping mixed with a half cup of sour cream. —Joan Buehnerkemper, Teutopolis, Illinois

Root Beer Float Pie

This is the kind of recipe your kids will look back on and always remember. And the only appliance you need is the refrigerator. —Cindy Reams, Philipsburg, Pennsylvania

Carrot Cookie Bites

This recipe is a longtime family favorite. The cookies are soft and delicious, and the aroma while baking…absolutely irresistible! I'm always being asked for the recipe. —Jeanie Petrik, Greensburg, Kentucky

Pumpkin Chip Cake with Walnuts

My grandmother gave me this family recipe. After a few changes, I made the treat even healthier and tastier. Holidays wouldn’t be the same without it!-Amy Bridgewater, Aztec, New Mexico

Grapefruit, Lime & Mint Yogurt Parfait

Tart grapefruit and lime are balanced with a bit of honey in this cool and easy breakfast parfait. —Lois Enger, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Picnic Berry Shortcakes

You can make the berry sauce ahead of time and chill. Then assemble the entire dessert a couple of hours before the picnic or party. —Frieda Bliesner, McAllen, Texas

Grilled Angel Food Cake with Strawberries

One night I goofed, accidentally using the balsamic butter I save for grilling chicken on my pound cake. What a delicious mistake that my entire family loved! For a patriotic look, add a drizzle of blueberry syrup. —Tammy Hathaway, Freeman Twp, Maine

Low-Fat Peanut Butter Cookies

When you bite into one of these yummy cookies, you'll never guess it's low in fat. —Maria Regakis, Saugus, Massachusetts

Mango Rice Pudding

Mangoes are my son's favorite fruit, so I was ecstatic to incorporate them into a healthy dessert. You can also use ripe bananas instead of mango, almond extract instead of vanilla, or regular milk in place of soy. —Melissa McCabe, Victor, New York

Light Cheesecake

Our family adores cheesecake, but I wanted to serve something healthier. I came up with this lighter version that I make for both holidays and everyday. —Diane Roth, Adams, Wisconsin

Sweet Potato Frozen Yogurt Pops

Once I had my little girl I quickly became really creative in the kitchen, needing to have healthy foods on hand. These frozen treats turned out to be a favorite and are a staple in our home. —Jenn Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California

Chewy Whole Wheat Snickerdoodles

My cookies get coated with sugar, spice and everything nice! They turn out soft on the inside and a little crunchy on the outside, the dough is easy to work with, and they taste fantastic. What more could you ask for in a cookie? —Ashley Wisniewski, Champaign, Illinois

Baklava with Honey Syrup

Baklava is a sweet, buttery Greek treat. The honey syrup drizzled on top gives this classic dessert a delicious twist. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Meringue Roses

Eat these kid-friendly treats as is, or crush them into a bowl of strawberries and whipped cream. Readers of my blog, utry.it, went nuts when I posted that idea! —Amy Tong, Anaheim, California

Lemon Blueberry Cornmeal Cake

I lightened up this quick and easy dessert by making a few substitutions. Because the treat is so sweet, no one will know it's healthy, too.—Roxanne Chan, Albany, California.

Saucy Spiced Pears

We serve these tangy, saucy pears over angel food cake, pound cake or with a little yogurt or vanilla ice cream. Sprinkle with a favorite topping. —Joy Zacharia, Clearwater, Florida

Black Bean Brownies

You’d never guess these rich, velvety chocolate treats contain a can of black beans. —Kathy Hewitt, Cranston, Rhode Island

Chocolate-Dipped Phyllo Sticks

Looking for a little something special to share with friends or family? Try these crunchy treats. They’re great with coffee or a glass of milk. —Peggy Woodward, Shullsburg, Wisconsin

Full-of-Goodness Oatmeal Cookies

I love to bake, and bring in extra treats to leave in the faculty lounge for my colleagues. To avoid being blamed for ruining their healthy diets, I came up with this healthier version of the classic oatmeal cookie to make snacking on these a good choice, instead of a guilty indulgence. —Sharon Balestra, Bloomfield, New York

Berry White Ice Pops

Kids and adults will love these ice pops speckled with colorful mixed berries for a nice cold treat. —Sharon Guinta, Stamford, Connecticut

Vanilla Meringue Cookies

This meringue cookie is light, airy morsels and the perfect fat-free treat to really beat a sweets craving. —Jenni Sharp, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Citrus Compote with Grapefruit Granita

Make granita no more than a day ahead of time for best texture. If it freezes solid, it can be revived by pulsing in a food processor. This recipe was inspired by a trip I took with my husband to Italy. —Jennifer Beckman, Falls Church, Virginia

Chili-Lime Grilled Pineapple

I love grilled pineapple. This recipe combines the fruit's natural sweetness with the tart and spicy flavors of lime and chili powder. It's great for dessert and even as a side dish with ham or pork chops. —Geraldine Saucier, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Cinnamon Nut Bars

Classic bar meets good-for-you ingredients in this updated recipe. If you have the patience, after the bars are cool, store them in a tin for a day to allow the flavors to meld...I think they taste even better the next day.— Heidi Lindsey, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin

Fruit & Granola Crisp with Yogurt

Here's an easy recipe you can feel good about. Blueberries and peaches are such a delightful flavor combination. —Sue Schmidtke, Oro Valley, Arizona

Strawberrry-Rosemary Yogurt Pops

We planted strawberries a few years ago and these tangy-sweet frozen yogurt pops are my very favorite treats to make with them! The options are endless. Try using other yogurt flavors like lemon, raspberry or blueberry. You may also substitute the rosemary with your favorite herb or simply omit it. —Carmell Childs, Ferron, Utah

Cranberry and Pear Crisp

This dessert is perfect for that first autumn day you can feel a nip in the air. It’s full of sweet, crunchy fall flavors. —Lori Choquette, Holyoke, Massachusetts

Mixed Berry Sundaes for 2

Before serving yogurt sundaes, get ready for requests for seconds. Our family enjoys them for breakfast, but they're sweet enough for dessert. What an easy way to get our fruit and calcium. —Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah

Grilled Stone Fruits with Balsamic Syrup

Get ready to experience another side of stone fruits. Hot off the grill, this late-summer dessert practically melts in your mouth. —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California

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